WASHINGTON (AP) -- Federal safety officials want states to require all motorcycle riders to wear helmets, citing a surge in deaths since the late 1990s.
The National Transportation Safety Board says motorcycle deaths have increased over the last decade even as other traffic fatalities have declined.
The board said there were 4,400 motorcycle deaths in the U.S. last year, more than in all aviation, rail, marine and pipeline accidents combined. Head injuries are the leading cause of death in motorcycle crashes.
The board said 20 states require all motorcycle riders to wear helmets. Most states have limited helmet requirements, and three states -- Iowa, Illinois and Vermont -- have no requirement.
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